I was never a "water baby" - that is - I was never a kid that jumped into water whenever I saw it. I only wanted to get wet if I was dirty, sweaty, or super hot. This followed me into adulthood, so choosing swimming as a workout was not something that happened for me. That is until I was forced to. By age twenty I had injured my knee significantly twice. These ACL knee injuries (anterior cruciate ligament) had ended my soccer career prematurely. I had to wait a few months for ACL surgery, but wanted to stay active, so I did early morning walks with arm motions to get a whole body workout and I started swimming.
I hated swimming. I hated it as I packed my swimsuit & towel, traveled to the pool, dressed, walked onto the pool deck, jumped in, and swam the first lap. Do you see the trend? I hated it. But by the second lap it wasn't so bad. It was a quick and very intense workout for me. 20 minutes and I felt like jelly afterwards. All without any impact or pain to my knees! The workout was, in fact, so difficult for me that my cheeks tingled afterwards. Anyone else? Probably not.
Flash forward to over a decade later and swimming is high up there on the things that I really miss about LA. Swimming laps outside midday on a sunny day is one of the most meditative and mind clearing experience I have. I get a whole body, no impact workout to balance out my running, hiking, biking leg workouts with inclusion of arm and abdominal conditioning and my mind gets to wonder through future ideas and possibilities as well as reflecting back on experiences and relationships. Oh and my cheeks don't tingle anymore.
So give swimming a try!
Want to make sure you're healthy while swimming? Wonder what swim strokes are right for you? Wonder if you're stroke technique could lead to an injury? Wonder how much to do? Necessary stretches and strengthening? Let's chat. (Also possible future blog post topic - what do you think?)
Already swim? Where is your favorite place to swim?
Together - Let's Get Moving.
"Why does my arch hurt?"
"I get a sharp pain in my heel every morning I get out of bed.
"When I've been on my feet too long, the bottom of my foot hurts so bad."
Do you say these things? You may have plantar fasciitis.
The plantar fascia is a ligament that helps support the arch of your foot and gets stretched when you put weight on it and every step you take.
"Itis" is Latin for inflammation, so plantar fasciitis is a diagnosis of inflammation of the plantar fascia. Inflammation takes place when you have an injury and the body is trying to heal. Research is showing that most cases of plantar fasciitis is not an "itis" but is instead an "-osis" which reflects degeneration. This is why rolling on a frozen bottle might not make your symptoms go away.
At Artisan Physical Therapy, your PT will try to figure out a few distinct things in your evaluation - what tissue is injured or irritated and then the why it is injured/irritated/painful. Often both need to be treated the sore tissue needs to be calmed down and then that factors that led to the injury need to be changed and/or alleviated otherwise it will be perpetually irritated.
Common factors that lead to plantar fasciitis or fasciosis include:
- Insufficient arch support - going barefoot, wearing flip flops, or shoes without arch support or very flexible soles
- Tight ankles and calve muscles
- Weak hip (gluteal muscles)
- Excessive body weight
- Increasing activity too quickly (deciding to train for a marathon or get in shape drastically from prior level of activity)
- Weak foot muscles or inappropriate muscle use/activation
Just because you have arch or heel pain, it doesn't mean you have plantar fasciitis. It could be a tendinitis or tendinopathy of a foot or ankle muscle or an issue in the joints of your foot. A quality physical therapy exam will clarify this for you. As mentioned above knowing which tissue is irritated allows for specific, targeted treatment to get rid of your pain and get you back to pain free walking, running and whatever else you love and need to do.
Think you might have plantar fasciitis? Take the first step towards health and get a PT evaluation to get quality manual therapy to temporarily decrease the pain in your foot and learn exercises to keep it away by learning how to reduce the stress to the plantar fascia and learn what activities to avoid a do instead to allow it to begin healing today.
Let's Get to the Source - and TOGETHER - Let's Get Moving!
What you eat has a big influence in how you feel. Not too many people will disagree with this statement, however many are not aware the extent that this is true.
Your diet could be perpetuating your back pain, our contributing to your achy knees, or be prolonging that car accident our recent injury pain.
What do we know?
AVOID eating refined carbohydrates, french fries and other fried foods, soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages, red meat (burgers, steaks) and processed meat (hot dogs, sausage), and margarine/lard.
EAT MORE tomatoes; olive oil; green leafy vegetables - spinach, kale, and collards; nuts like almonds and walnuts; fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines; fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges.
Eating this way helps reduce diseases associated with inflammation: e.g. heart disease and cancer. You can read more about this at http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/foods-that-fight-inflammation.
But eating this way will also contribute time reduce your musculoskeletal and orthopedic pain. (Read - less pain in your muscles, discs, joints, fascia, and ligaments). Sounds great, right?
If you're not seeing the consistent pain reduction you want from changes in posture, strength, stiffness, and flexibility, consider taking that next step to reduce what my be stagnant inflammation in your body and change your diet to tips towards anti-inflammatory in addition to all the good work your doing with exercise, position, rest, icing, etc.
Every little step towards healthier living counts!
Were you in a auto accident? Rear-ended? T-boned? Don't relinquish control of your health!
One of the biggest mistakes we see people make after automobile accidents is not taking responsibility for their health. Waiting on payment from insurance and settlements before receiving professional medical care to rehabilitate from whip lash, pulled, strained, and sore, achy muscles, joints, and ligaments is common and results in prolonged injuries, negative outcomes, side effects, and chronic pain.
The best thing to do is to receive professional care as soon as possible, and what better, than a physical therapist? Physical therapists are EXPERTS in musculoskeletal movement dysfunction and rehabilitation.
Make sure to rest, limit extremes of body range of motion and speed, let your body recover, and take steps to reduce inflammation in your body. Don't put off take care of your health. It is your livelihood. It is your life. First get the quality, personal, and focused care you need to deal with your motor vehicle accident (MVA).
At Artisan Physical Therapy, you don't get generic treatments such as lying on hot packs, getting electrical stimulation, and ultrasound. Instead you get quality and focused manual therapy specifically suited to your needs to reduce swelling, inflammation, pain, stiffness and tightness so that you can get back to doing what you love and when you want to do it. We give you things to put you in control of how you feel - education on the specifics of what to do and what not to do in your daily activities and active body movements and therapeutic exercises.
It's not uncommon that people through care with Artisan Physical Therapy can learn more than they even knew about their bodies and live healthier lives than they did even BEFORE their car accident.
Dang it, even therapist's have injuries, so let's talk about it. In our latest video, Dr. Liz Bottrell shares her personal experience with an acute occurrence of low back pain (aka - lumbar spine pain). Learn what happened and what she's doing about it and what you can do when you experience unexpected pain that lingers.
Back pain can come on suddenly and unexpectedly as it did for our physical therapist, limiting the ability to sit and lift and do normal daily activities. Learn how to recover as quickly and as optimally as possible. Note - you may have to change your behavior!
Dr. Liz Bottrell, PT, DPT, FAAOMPT, manual physical therapist and owner of Artisan Physical Therapy in downtown Portland explains what the basics of core stability and the "forever exercise" for your transverse abdominus and other abdominal muscles. This helps prevent and treat low back pain, back instability, sciatica, radiculopathy, herniated "bulging" discs. Doctor Liz Bottrell describes the essential components for proper positioning, control, and common errors. This exercise can be scaled up or down to be made easier or harder.Read More
Liz Bottrell, PT, DPT, FAAOMPT, manual physical therapist and owner of Artisan Physical Therapy in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA explains what manual therapy is.
Manual therapy, or "hands on," evaluation and treatment improves motion, mobility, decreases stiffness, tightness and pain, as well as improving circulation and speeding healing. The healing hands lead to areas of injury and work them out. It is a place where science and art meet.
Do you want to get better as soon as possible? Do you want to see an expert? Have you not seen the results that you hoped for with prior physical therapy. Maybe your therapist wasn't highly skilled in manual therapy. Liz is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapist (FAAOMPT) - her specialized manual therapy training and skills set her apart from other physical therapists.
See a manual therapy specialist and experience the difference in your day to day - the ease of movement, the reduced pain and stiffness, and improved muscle activation (read strength, coordination, and balance). All of this helps you sleep, walk, run, stand, reach overhead, and so on more easily and with less pain.
Combine quality and focused physical therapy with your needed exercises and necessary modifications and get ready for amazing results beyond what you though possible!
Want to have healthy shoulders and rotator cuff? Want to prevent injury when swimming, doing yoga, while weightlifting or crossfit? Want to rockclimb better? Want to play tennis and volleyball for years? Then take a couple minutes and learn a few strengthening exercises for the rotator cuff using an exercise band. The exercises are simple and easy to do wherever you are! No fancy or expensive equipment needed!
Have lingering shoulder pain, a prior rotator cuff tear, aching or weakness? Try these as some basic strengthening.
The rotator cuff is extremely important for basically all arm movement and certainly all shoulder motions. Make sure your rotator cuff is strong and has a lot of endurance to prevent injury!
For recommendations specific to your situation and body, contact Liz in Los Angeles or your neighborhood physical therapist. We are the movement specialist.
Let's get to the source, and TOGETHER, get moving!
Until next time,